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  • What's up, guys?

  • Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com.

  • Today I've got my 8 best supersets that you're likely not doing.

  • I'm going to show you exactly why I hand selected each of these 8.

  • But it always helps to start with a good definition of what a superset really is.

  • There is some confusion there.

  • There are two criteria to be called a superset.

  • Number one: You have to have two exercises.

  • Number two: you need to not rest in between those two exercises.

  • Now, if you took a single exerciselet's say a dumbbell incline bench-pressand

  • you did two sets in a row, but all you did was drop the weight in between sets; that

  • would be a drop set.

  • A true superset requires that you go to a different exercise.

  • When it comes to what happens beyond that, some people think it always has to be opposing

  • muscle groups.

  • That's just not correct.

  • Supersets can be done with lots of different exercise combinations, the same muscle group,

  • complimentary muscle groups, or yes, the popular opposing muscle group.

  • But let's star there.

  • When we talk about opposing muscle groups there's nothing more classic than biceps

  • and triceps.

  • Of course, I actually have one hand-picked favorite and it's this combination.

  • It's the dumbbell incline tricep extension, right into the dumbbell spider curl.

  • The reason why I like this one above all others is because we're getting the all-important

  • stretch on the triceps in the hand selected exercise.

  • So, we can get that done, and immediately, without even having to change weightbecause

  • usually these two exercises tend to be weighted very, very closelyyou go right into the

  • inverted incline position on the bench, and you start repping out in this spider curl.

  • The spider curl provides a nice benefit for us too because it's challenging us most

  • in the contracted position of the biceps, which is not something we really experience

  • all that often with traditional curls.

  • If you're not used to doing this exercise you're going to get a good stimulus from

  • it for that one reason.

  • If you certainly haven't tried this one combination this way you definitely will.

  • Next, we can shift more toward complementary muscle groups.

  • Not in the exact same, but muscles that like to work together.

  • Here we're going to hit the back.

  • This is one of my all-time favorite supersets.

  • It involves two exercises that a lot of times we forget to do.

  • We probably have seen them, but we don't realize how important they are.

  • It's the straight-arm pushdown, right into a face pull.

  • With the straight-arm pushdown we are working our back in one of the most crucial movement

  • patterns that we can use when training our back because it translates over into other

  • exercises.

  • Especially the big exercises, like the deadlift.

  • You need to have straight arm, scapular strength, not just to do this, but even some more advanced

  • bodyweight exercises like levers.

  • So, if we do this here, and then immediately change the position of our hands, and go right

  • into a face pull we can shift the work to the back, but more to the upper back.

  • As I've mentioned in previous videos here we can hit the rear delt as well.

  • There is simply no better combo for the most unappreciated exercises, and one of the more

  • underappreciated areas of our body.

  • Now we move onto more of the same muscle superset with a little bit of complementary action

  • going on.

  • That is one of my favorite here for chest.

  • Now we all know the classic bench-press into pushups.

  • But there's something that allows us to hit the muscles in a little different way

  • with a single dumbbell.

  • What you do here is, the UCV raise that's I've shown plenty of times on our channel,

  • which actually works a little bit of the tie in between the front delt, and the upper chest.

  • We're angling our arm up, but then across our body.

  • You can see the upper chest activated and working here.

  • But then we can take that and make sure we're still getting that all-important adduction

  • component of the chest, which is lacking when we go from bench-press to pushup.

  • That is why I love this, above all others.

  • We do what has been dubbed here as theCavaliere Crossover”.

  • I showed this a long time back, years ago.

  • You take that single dumbbell and what's ironic about this superset is I can usually

  • reach for the dumbbell immediately below the one that I'm working on when the weights

  • are actually put back correctly.

  • So here I've gone from 20lbs to 70lbs.

  • What I do is lift and drag the dumbbell up, and across my body.

  • Really trying to work on adduction from the bottom, up.

  • You can see that my entire chest is activated.

  • Yes, it feels like it's going to explode at this point, but that is the premise behind

  • supersets; to take it too failure and then beyond failure using these two exercises.

  • The beauty of supersets is that we don't always have to select them based on the muscles

  • we're working, but more so on a purpose.

  • Here you can take two shoulder exercises with the purpose being to use the first one to

  • pre-exhaust you for the second one.

  • The first part of this one is the shoulder L-raise.

  • I like the L-raise because we're getting both the benefits of a front raise and side

  • raise for both the front and the middle delt.

  • But what's great is, the same weight, which would normally not be challenging all for

  • you on a dumbbell press, by the time you've reached failure on this first portion of the

  • superset in the L-raise becomes challenging for that second half.

  • So, you've effectively pre-exhausted that muscle which now allows you to lift these

  • dumbbells straight up overhead as soon as you've done your last rep, and continue

  • to rep out using the second half, which is just a dumbbell press overhead.

  • Again, this gives you a chance to pre-exhaust a muscle group with an exercise that makes

  • the second exercisewhich normally wouldn't be so tough – a lot harder.

  • Therefore, it gives you a stimulus that you're not used to.

  • Continuing on, using a purpose behind the superset, we can take advantage of mechanical

  • differences in exercises that allow us to take a muscle to failure and then train it

  • beyond, using a mechanical superset.

  • You take the first exercisein this case, a pancake pushupwhich places the tricep

  • at a greater mechanical disadvantage.

  • Therefore, it's a harder exercise that you can take all the way to failure.

  • But instead of stopping there you can adapt and change the position of your body to allow

  • for a little bit more help for those triceps at that critical time, when they're most

  • fatigued, to get even more reps, and more work done.

  • Here we're shifting over to the dive-bomber pushup.

  • This should be slightly easier, allowing you to continue that set for another half until

  • failure.

  • Technically the supersets consist of two exercises, as I've said.

  • But you can turn into a little bit more of a giant set, which would still be a superset,

  • where you would rest no more and go right into a third variation here, which is the

  • diamond cutter pushup.

  • This should be, again, slightly easier.

  • You're taking it down through these three exercises and it makes it for a more challenging

  • exercise combo for you.

  • However, if you want to stick to the true definition of a superset with two components

  • of it, the more advanced would stick to the pancake and dive bomber.

  • Whereas the less advanced would start with the dive bomber and go into the diamond cutters.

  • Rolling on now, we have something called a categorical drop set.

  • Meaning, the type, or category of the exercise, and what it means to the overall effect of

  • the superset.

  • We can go with a classic closed-chain, open-chain superset.

  • What that means is, a closed-chain exercise is whenever the moving limbs are in contact

  • with the ground.

  • So, if I was doing a squat and my feet were in contact with the ground, that would be

  • a closed-chain exercise, versus a leg extension where my legs are free to move in space, not

  • in contact with the ground.

  • We can apply the same here with our upper body, and this is one of my favorite ways

  • to train this combo, because I feel like it's the safest way to train this combo.

  • Here we use an iron-cross dumbbell pushup.

  • As you can see I've got the dumbbells in contact with the ground, my hands via the

  • dumbbells are in contact with the ground, which therefore makes it a closed-chain exercise.

  • I can get a little bit of that effect that we're actually going to cement here with

  • the follow-up.

  • That is an open-chain floor fly.

  • You guys know that this is the only version of this exercise that I like.

  • I feel like it's the one that provides the best resistance to accomplish the exercise

  • without sacrificing the health of our shoulder.

  • We have the floor as our safety net.

  • We have the bottom safety position of our elbows up, against the floor.

  • But we're doing an open-chain exercise because our arms are not in contact with the floor

  • anymore, but floating in free space.

  • The fact is, these open-chain/closed-chain combos provide a hell of a challenge.

  • This one, in particular, happens to be my favorite.

  • This next superset is one that showcases how you don't really have to train the same

  • muscle group even remotely to have an effective superset.

  • It could be what the purpose of the superset is that makes it so valuable.

  • Here we're talking about a squat and a scap pull.

  • You might be thinkingWhat is the relationship here?”

  • Well, here we're talking about a loaded, and a de-loaded position for your body.

  • When we get under the squat bar we know that we have a bit of load directed down on our

  • spine.

  • We have spinal compression.

  • So, we do a set of squats realizing that's still one of the best damn exercises we could

  • possibly do for our body.

  • But one of the great variables that we have in our arsenal is in between sets, instead

  • of just standing aroundespecially when it comes to squatsbut usually you have

  • a pullup bar right behind us.

  • If you turn around, grab onto that pullup bar, and hang, or in this case do something

  • which is a small scapular pullthe scap pull will contract/relax technique to

  • reinforce the decompression that happens when we actually just let go.

  • If you just let your legs hang here you can feel the spine elongate.

  • You can feel a little bit of that decompression, which helps us, and makes us feel ready to

  • attack the next set of squats.

  • This load/de-load, or compression/decompression combo is a great way to use supersets for

  • a purpose that you may not have realized in the first place.

  • Finally, we can use supersets to enhance the effects of a secondary exercise by preceding

  • it with an exercise that excites the nervous system.